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2016 Season Close Update: 2x IFWA World Champion – Mark Gomez

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Hello Friends, Family, and Sponsors,

I would really like to apologize for the delay in these emails. If you have followed me on social media, you may have been able to keep track of the nonstop action these last several months. Since my last email update in May, I had a successful sweep of the opening three European rounds of the IFWA World Tour. I then went stateside and immediately immersed myself in three back to back event weekends driving around the West Coast. From that time forward, the size of potential email updates grew into what is best described as a larger and larger snowball, growing each week I traveled.

I am much harder on myself than most think and I take a lot of pride in being able to effectively communicate to the people that help me along the way. I also want to be able to paint a brief, but highlighted, story of each of my travels for those who don’t use social media. This brings me to the end of my season, when I finally have had more than just a week in between events (besides the holidays). As the dust has now settled and I collect the data from my year, I am really proud of the incredible season I was able to pull off, with podium results at almost every event!

Attached in this email and pictured below is my 2016 Pro Season wrap up report I prepared:
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This year I competed in the following series:
– IFWA World Freeride Championship Tour
Pro Watercross National Race and Freestyle Tour
– IJSBA World Finals of Racing and Freestyle
– Australian Freeride Nationals
– US Pro Freestyle Championship
– Many individual freeride events

 


My major highlights this year were the following:
– Defending my 2015 IFWA Freeride World Title with my second win this year as the 2016 World Champion, crowned last month in Japan.
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– Riding the North point of Nazaré with an average of 30 meter waves
– Representing Hydro-Turf as the brand’s Sponsorship Liaison
– Becoming the National Freestyle Champion on the Pro Watercross Tour
– Taking 4th in the world my rookie year in Pro Freestyle 1200 class
– Taking 3rd in the world in Vintage 550 racing class
– 24 events in 8 different countries, traveling over 89,200 road & air miles within 11 months, competing in all 3 categories of stand up jetskiing

Social Media

I have had a very successful year boosting my social media presence, which gives my sponsors a bigger exposure network with each additional post. My posts are the best that I can do to illustrate a timeline of my events, give updates of my travels, showcase cool photos and videos from the year, and more.

Instagram @Markgomez137 gained over 5,000 new followers this season! Apx 19,300 followers

Facebook/MarkaGomez gained over 2,500 new followers this season! Apx 7,500 followers


Viral Videos
Featured in two unique viral videos that exposed the sport to many different networks worldwide featured below:
 
Labor Day Backflip in a small pool
On Labor Day weekend, I arranged to take my new 1200cc Flatwater freestyle ski to my fiberglass sponsor John Crabb of Performance Fiberglass house to attempt a backflip in his swimming pool. I thought it was big enough until I put the ski inside of it and started riding around. My friends and sponsor, Liquid Militia, came in with their equipment to film it, produced the edit and released promotion. It went really well and caught a lot of attention on social media, getting a lot of shares from many big social media “superpage” feeds.
Facebook Video Views: 124,517 — Facebook Shares: 1,459
Youtube Views: 6,271 — Video Link here –> https://youtu.be/eysbVIJ8TyQ
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T-Rex Jetski Backflip video
This video came together as a quick last minute spoof after the SurfSlam contest in Oregon. My friend, Guillermo Casas who was in town from Costa Rica, filmed with his drone. I purchased an inflatable T-Rex costume with the intention of showcasing the best pro freestyle action in it and see what kind of footage we could come up with. It was fun and I was able to pull off some stunts, despite the awkward suit. I express shipped the video footage to Liquid Militia clothing and they got right to work on the edit and post production as before. This video was a HIT! It went insanely viral, and was featured on many famous viral websites (MSN, Yahoo, Shock Mansion, Gizmodo, Mashable, Digg, The Big Lead), Social media networks, National and International, TV networks, ESPN, FOX News, The Inside Edition and more! : T-Rex T-shirts for Men, Women, and kids are now available here through Liquid Militia Clothing!
Facebook Views: 114,936 — Facebook Shares: 1,659
Youtube Views: 197,939 — Video Link here –> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJcjCb6hs_g
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Tour Highlight Recaps
 
IFWA Freeride World Tour – 2016 World Title

This year’s IFWA tour took place in 6 different countries: Nazaré , Portugal – Lacanau, France – Newquay, UK – Bahia, Brazil – Oregon, USA – Kamisu, Japan. It was an incredible season with the opening winning streak along Europe. A big part of this success was shipping my personal TC Freeride built Rickter EDGE overseas to the European tour and final round in Japan. It took a lot of effort, logistics and resources to make it happen. In the end, it was well worth the reliability and comfort being on my own equipment, which was proven by my overall results. I did not pull this off alone. Along the entire tour, I worked with my teammate through many similar sponsors Abraham Ho from Cancun, Mexico, who was recently picked up by Monster Energy as an athlete with explosive style. We are a great team that works effectively to get through each tour stop. I won my second consecutive World Title. The tour is amazing and I enjoy meeting such a great group of riders and enthusiasts from around the world. It has so much potential to become even greater. I am working in the background to assist the great people there with all that I can, to ensure it reaches that next level.

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Pro Watercross National Tour – Pro Freestyle National Champion
An exciting feat was attending 5 out of 7 National tour stops. This was made possible by shipping my equipment with Brock Austin, his incredible family, the family of riders that toured with them as well, and KMG Racing.  Making it possible to race was Branden Edwards and his family. who allowed me to share their lites spec Yamaha Superjet. I competed in Pro Freestyle on a borrowed 1000cc Rickter XFR until I was able to complete my own 1200cc XFR for the National tour final in West Virginia. There were CBS Sports TV segments created where I plugged many of my sponsors during interviews with specific freestyle coverage in every edit. I was featured on many local/web ads and newspaper articles from my freestyle runs. This tour also has great potential to grow. I am stoked to have had the opportunity to experience this tour with such a great group of racers and pull off the National Title for Pro Freestyle.
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IJSBA World Finals Pro Freestyle – 4th In the World Rookie year 

This year my best friend in the sport, Tanner Thomas and I teamed up together to take on Pro Freestyle at the World Finals. We rented a house in Lake Havasu and brought in all the tools and equipment needed to build a fully functional compound. This enabled us to tweak and tune our Freestyle skis to be the best they could be. To help us with that task was our very good friend and amazingly talented mechanic, Hiroyuki Oginio “Ninja”, who flew in from Japan. I had very bad luck with self inflicted engine and ignition problems during my condensed training period prior to the World Finals. With the help of all of my sponsors, Tanner, and Hiro, I was able to get it completely dialed in just three days before the event. This was an incredibly stressful two and a half weeks, which set me back from many things. However, I came at those three days with a fire to improve like I never thought I had. Upon competition day I was able to bring a handful of new tricks to the Pro Freestyle scene that I carried over from the freeride world. The Flatwater Flex flip, NoCanDo flip, No Hand flip, and Super flip variations which earned 3rd place in the pack on the final day and 4th overall by points. It felt incredible to receive all the positive feedback from riders and fans about bringing freeride style into freestyle in just a short amount of time from when I started. With that, I am motivated more than ever to focus more attention to this next year and win the Pro 1200 Freestyle World Title next year!

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Thank you for the support through the storm

There was an incredible amount of work that had to be done every week in between events. I considered this a year of strictly competing because the amount of time I had to enjoy riding for practice was extremely scarce compared to the year before. Many times this season I would only be riding jetskis solely the day before or day of the events. My two Rickter jetskis were almost always in a box or trailer being shipped to a new location and/or coming back from one. I had to make big adjustments when things went wrong or changed due to mechanical problems, weather, ect. In a crazy way, I really enjoyed the challenges and more so being able to see it through that I accomplished my goals anyway. These kind of things forced me to lean on my sponsors, family, girlfriend, and friends for their support, understanding, and patience to make it through this unbalanced season of wild situations. Thank you for stepping up with me.

2017 and Thoughts Moving Forward

3rd IFWA World Title – Focus and take on Pro Freestyle World Title –
Train and hone overall riding ability – Educate and Expose the sport via video media.  

Overall, 2016 was an incredible year! I have many potential plans in the works for 2017 to carry the momentum from this year. With the success of the first Japanese round in the IFWA tour, there is much interest from the Japanese and excitement to improve the IFWA tour. I intend to support the association’s movement and compete once again on the 2017 tour to ride for a 3rd World Title. I plan to keep my schedule a little more open in between events to focus more on my quality over quantity, pertaining to my training, promotion, and most of all, exposure. This year I took on my rookie year of Pro Freestyle getting on competitive equipment with a sparing few weeks to train. I was able to make a hard push to place 4th in the world. Next year I want to train, focus, and win the US Freestyle Championships and Pro Freestyle World Title.

In 2017 I don’t intend to settle for just being a top ranked rider. I truly want to push myself with more training time to bring new things to the table, hone my skills, and be the absolute best I can be at every event. I am never completely satisfied with what I can do; I am always looking to improve, and try new things. This was a difficult thing to do this year, with the risk of the rest of my season in the back of my mind and the need to stay healthy for it. Most importantly, during motosurf and freestyle training, I will have more time and opportunities to get more unique and better videos and photos. I also need the time between events to edit, produce, and publicize this content. I am gearing up to create a weekly or bi weekly “Vlog” series. These videos will provide the opportunity to my followers to get a closer look into my jetski life.  There will be a little less production factor in order to edit them faster and feel more personal. In these Vlogs I will talk through any and all things jetski related including: part installations, maintenance, travel progress, rider interviews, sport education, trick walkthroughs, event coverage, product and sponsor promotion, and more.

This is a different path from this year, yet I intend to create an even bigger year from it in the long run. I will compete and attend events where it appeals most to my sponsors. Ultimately, I want to focus on generating new, interesting, and fun media that will broaden my exposure and reach out to a more diverse audience. I want to create videos that can become timeless, that speak to all of the up and coming riders who can take parts from it, build their equipment across the board, and improve their riding to come compete with the best. I have enjoyed this sport, putting in my all for over 12 years competitively. From a young age, I have been inspired by videos and media produced and featured by the best riders in the world. It would mean even more to be able to showcase my friends and competitors and bring more light onto the sport that we all love with these videos.

I can’t thank you all enough for your time to read this and most of all, your unconditional support, especially my 2016 sponsors below!
Salty Investments  
ESU Armor 
Tanner Thomas  my brother in Freestyle
Abraham Ho my brother in Freeride
Kaley & McNay Family

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